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Drunk Driving Archives

State divided on issue of checkpoints to deter drunk driving

Sobriety checkpoints are frequently utilized by law enforcement agencies. Police officers use the checkpoints as a means to reduce drunk driving by identifying those who are operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. However, a debate about the checkpoints has arisen in the Missouri legislature.

Perception and reality

Interesting news that the number of traffic citations issued by the Columbia Police department has declined sharply. The numbers are really amazing. According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, "Traffic tickets and summonses police doled out in 2015 decreased by 72.8 percent from 2010’s 10-year high of 13,337."

This time, it really is a technicality

In the criminal justice system, when a charge is dropped or dismissed because of mistakes by the police or prosecution, some people complain that a guilty individual went free because of a technicality. Of course, if they are not convicted, the are not guilty. And in too many cases, that "technicality" is often one of the bedrock principles of American jurisprudence.

Stopped by the police? The less you say the better

One of the difficulties for most people when interacting with the police is that of knowledge. If you were pulled over by the Missouri Highway Patrol during the Memorial Day weekend on suspicion of a DUI, that trooper is very likely far more experienced at their side of the interaction.

Missouri HP won't refrigerate blood samples for DUI cases

The Missouri Highway Patrol recently issued instructions to its troopers indicating blood evidence, such as a blood draw from a DUI arrest, does not need to be refrigerated. This is a puzzling announcement, as there are typically concerns that blood samples held at room temperature could lead to a compromise in quality and make the evidence worthless, or worse.

Is 2.5 percent a success?

Earlier this month, police in Springfield and the Missouri Highway Patrol operated a sobriety checkpoint in that city for four hours on a Friday night. Friday and Saturday evening are viewed as a prime time for drivers in the state to attempt to try their luck at drinking and driving, so law enforcement often chooses those evenings as the time to set up a sobriety checkpoint.

It sounds funny, until someone is charged with a sixth DWI

A man in Fulton was arrested last month on suspicion of a DWI. Not that remarkable, since Missouri experiences almost 30,000 DWI arrests in a year, which works out to about 80 per day. This case warranted news coverage because the man arrested was driving a lawn mower.

A better solution for DUI?

One reason the criminal justice system often fails to adequately address an issue is that it is often called upon to deal with complex human behavior with a simple, often meaning cheap, solution.

The problem with (potentially) lowering the BAC limit

Numerous times in recent history, the federal government has attempted to alter the one drunk driving rule that everyone seems to know: that a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater means a DUI is in your future. Every time the attempt to change this rule comes up, it is invariably an effort to move the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit lower. And the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently said that one of their wishes for 2016 is a reduced BAC limit.